I finally managed to get some photos from last night's Chef's Table menu. It's often too busy to photo the food.
Leek and Potato Shooter. A shooter of classic Vichyssoise topped with an oca latke and micro onion greens. Oca is a rare Andean tuber that strikes me as a cross between a fingerling potato and a sunchoke/Jerusalem artichoke. Oca is an Oxalis (O. tuberosa), so it brings a little of that classic sweet-tart oxalic acid flavor to the party. The micro onion greens are from Chef's Garden and are not onions at all. What they are, I don't really know, but they have a small tomato-like leaf and a great onion flavor. The idea behind this dish is that you eat the latke in a single bite and chase it with the soup.
Cantaloupe Carpaccio. Mandoline-cut local cantaloupe topped with cubes of cantaloupe marinated in lime zest and agave nectar, Thai basil oil, micro Thai basil, purslane, and red ribbon (aka blood) sorrel. I'm so glad that cantaloupes are just starting to ripen here. Notice the generous grind of pepper on the dish; cantaloupe loves pepper: it brings out the sweetness in the melon. Wine pairing: Broadbent Vinho Verde NV.
Tomato. We should have tomatoes coming out of our ears by now what with all this scorching weather, but nobody can seem to get tomatoes to ripen this year. We have been hoarding and ripening a very few tomatoes just for this tasting. Here you see tomato ricotta gnocchi in a pool of pesto garnished with micro opal basil, a small tomato stuffed with yellow tomato granita, and a tomato taco suave. The tortilla is masa and tomato, the filling is tomato dice tossed in pesto, and the garnishes are sun-dried tomato sour cream and micro basil. I was very pleased with the amount of flavor we managed to pull from the yellow tomato granita, which we served with a grind of sea salt on top. Wine pairing: Château de Ségriès Tavel Rosé 2009.
Lamb Makisushi. This dish is the answer to the question, "How do we serve lamb like sushi?" You see a maki roll of grilled summer squash, Israeli couscous, and braised lamb shank. The green garnish is leek leaves. The wasabi is colored mashed potatoes, the gari (pickled ginger) is pickled zucchini, and the soy sauce is the lamb braising liquid. High cuisine? I don't know. Fun? Most definitely. Wine pairing: Fabbioli Cabernet Franc Virginia 2008.
Napoleon of Pulled Pork. This dish represents summer to us. We were looking for a way to showcase corn, squash, and tomatoes in the same dish. You see a napoleon whose layers are, from the bottom to the top, sinfully unctuous squash cake, pulled pork, pimentón- and cornmeal-crusted green tomato, pulled pork, and fresh corn cake. The pork is shoulder that we have braised in the Cuban style: classic puerco con mojo. Garnishes are micro cilantro, sweet corn sauce, charred corn, red and orange pepper confetti, and chipotle adobo. Wine pairing: Fabbioli Chambourcin Virginia 2008.
Blueberry Cheesecake. I'm starting to move away from the slice of dessert on a plate school and moving more to deconstructed desserts. Here you see bite-sized blueberry cheesecakes, fresh blueberries, blueberry sauce, crème anglaise, graham cracker crust, and micro lemon balm. I'm very happy with this dessert. Wine pairing: Di Lenardo Verduzzo Passito Venezia Giulia 2003.